The SEA HAWK by BOREALIS
To me, Borealis has always been one of those no-nonsense types of watch brands, it has some pretty interesting offerings as well which are guaranteed to be the bang for your buck, and that’s pretty much about it because the company is relatively new in the market and mostly offers functional watches at a competitive price point. So if you are into brands and or watches which will not put too much of a strain on your wallet, and at the same time offers a rugged demeanour and are super functional, then keep on reading..
That being said, we have gotten a lot of inquiries lately particularly the Borealis Sea Hawk, and so we thought we should talk a little bit about this particular model. Anyway, without much fanfare, let’s jump right into it.
So I recently had the opportunity to get some wrist time with the Sea Hawk and whilst putting it through the paces, one thing quickly became apparent to me: I am utterly and unquestionably in love with it! Ever since I first began my venture into the world of horology, I’ve had an undeniable affinity for dive watches (especially those that manage to balance a certain degree of reservation); one thing I can say about the Sea Hawk: it is a piece that manages to be everything a dive watch should be, in my mind, and it does so with a such a combination of bravado and elegance that shouldn’t work, but does and does with seemingly no effort at all.
Aesthetics, case and bracelet
On the wrist, the Sea Hawk is, despite its daunting case specs, comfortable. The mass of the case is balanced with what is quite honestly the best, most substantial, and well made bracelet I’ve ever worn (this being high praise coming from someone who had the chance to test drive a Royal Oak 15202 for a week). I cannot stress enough how well the bracelet wore on this watch; Borealis’ ratcheting dive clasp is phenomenal and quite a convenience for heatswollen wrists in the torturous sun of Southeast Georgia in the summer.
The ease at which it (the bracelet) can be sized must be noted as well: screw-in links make getting this thing out of the box and on your wrist a breeze, and the solid end links are a nice bonus. For me, Borealis really hit it out of the park on just this ever-important-but-often-over-looked part of the watch.
I found the finishing to be very reserved and contemporary; the all brushed finished across the top of the case, through the bracelet and clasp, combined with the restrained polishing on the sides of the case and the sides of each link down the bracelet, really pleased my visual palette.
It’s a tool watch with a dressed up “feel”, managing to have a wondrous presence on the wrist and guys, I cannot stress enough that the case feels like a German tank designer had to give the final word before production could start on this piece; and like a German would do… it’s a damn sexy piece to behold.
Standing a monstrous 15.9mm tall from the bottom of the caseback to the top of the beautiful AR coated sapphire crystal, 42mm in diameter, a lug to lug distance of 50mm (give or take), with 22mm lugs, I find the watch case to be well proportioned and narrowly missing the mark of a “chunky diver.” While it won’t be sliding under your dress shirt cuff, it will certainly draw the attention of your fellow horology nerds. Besides, why would you want to conceal a watch that was finished to an overwhelming level such as this?
I regret that I didn’t have a chance to take it out to the reefs, so I cannot attest to its functionality under real world diving conditions, despite its massive depth rating of 1500 meters. But with a rating like that, do you have any cause to doubt that it’ll survive the occasional dip in the swimming pool or a splash of dishwater?
One quirky little diver’s geekdom I would have loved on this watch and (pay attention, Borealis) future pieces, is a second “crown” style helium release valve. Something about them ticks all the correct boxes for me when it comes to a serious dive piece such as this. Maybe you disagree and I want to know your thoughts, however we must press on!
I have nothing against the NH36 movement and as a matter of fact, it just so happens to be one of my favorite movements for it’s simplicity and rugged reliability; I’ve said numerous times in the past that there are two “AK” grade movements in value prop horology: the Seiko 7S26 and NH36/4R36.
However, I would prefer to see an ETA movement in a watch of this caliber (movement puns), preferably the 2824-2. Here is the moral dilemma I feel Borealis faced when creating this watch: do we put an ETA in here and charge what this watch is truly worth? Or do we slap a mid-grade NH36 in here and allow our customers to have an ultimate steal of a deal? I think I can live with it, don’t you?
Lume on bezel, hands and indexes
The Sea Hawk also features a BGW9 superluminova applied ceramic bezel which was initially available in 3 color options – black, blue, and green. But this particular model so happens to come in blue.
Anyway, all I can say is that the lume on the Sea Hawk do pack a serious punch, a definite solid option for all of you who are very much into the #lumebattle.
Shout out to all you #illumenauts out there!
I have a complaint or two about the Sea Hawk. First off, I’m not a fan of the date function on this watch; It’s a solid instrument of diving madness and I personally feel that the date function on this timepiece is woefully out of place, to say the least. I can understand the convenience of having the date on this piece, but for the rest of the watch to be so thoughtfully designed, restrained and executed with the precision that is so apparent throughout, the date window seems kind of “slapped on.”
Build Quality 4.5/5 – Borealis really don’t play around when it comes to build quality and finishing, and they certainly came through with that philosophy on the Sea Hawk.
Movement: 4/5 – While I would have loved to see a higher grade ETA movement in the Sea Hawk, at this price point, I don’t believe I or anyone can truly complain with the venerable NH36 ticking away beneath all this hardcore steel.
Wearability: 3.5/5 – The Sea Hawk is a large watch, make no mistake about that; If you’re planning to wear tuxedos everyday, I’d suggest a watch with a slimmer profile.. But hey, Daniel Craig’s Bond has no problem rocking an XL Planet Ocean with a tux, so what the hell.
Affordability: 5/5 – For the sheer value that comes with the Borealis SeaHawk, it’s certainly my opinion that this is one of the best deep divers you can get at this or any price point, especially from a practical buyer’s point of view. If you just want a pointless extra 2,400 meters of water resistance… cough up another nine grand or so.
My concluding thoughts on the Borealis Sea Hawk? If you’re a fan of dive watches, if you’re a fan of wellmade watches, and if you can get your hands on one: buy it. Don’t hesitate, don’t think twice about it. I can assure you, you’ll fall in love with it. (Tip: try it on distressed brown leather.)
The Sea Hawk was initially listed as 360USD directly on their website but unfortunately it is now out of stock at the time of this review. That being said, I sure hope this quick review would assist you if you are planning on getting one in used condition OR if you are planning to wait until the next restock! (Not sure when though)
A big thank you to @herecomeslarry1 for the photos!